Solution deposition

Understanding the pathways of prompt inorganic condensation

Greater understanding of the phenomena that affect the properties of thin films—such as mechanisms responsible for the transition from gel to solid oxide and the effect of counterion exchange on thin film properties—will further the CSMC's ability to tune material properties in a rational, controllable way.


PROJECT: The chemistry of group V polyoxometalates as precursors for thin-film materials. In this study, we build on solution work of aqueous polyoxotantalates, polyoxoniobates, and peroxophosphatoniobium clusters to study their characteristics as thin-film precursors.

The goals of this project are to further explore the chemistry of Group V elements by:

  • investigating the effects of counterions on the density, porosity, and physical/chemical properties of Ta2O5, Nb2O5, and niobium phosphate thin films.
  • characterizing the transition from gel to amorphous to crystalline film.

PROJECT: Clusters to functional films. This study focuses on understanding the relationships among synthesis, structure, and properties among three different cluster precursors. In particular, we seek to elucidate the mechanisms that govern the transition from metal –oxo and –hydroxo cluster solutions to condensed films and how these are affected by modifying any of:

  • solution composition
  • counterions
  • annealing conditions

in the systems:

  • Al, Y and Zr doped HafNOx and HafSOx
  • Alkali doped niobates
  • Al2O3 and AlPO

As all three systems concern controlling the growth of films through variations on prompt inorganic condensation (PIC), they will inform one another, accelerating progress towards project goals.  Each also addresses dehydration temperatures, enabling a systematic investigation of the chemical features that define these temperatures.